Rotisserie Ham, barbecue style


I was looking for another rotisserie recipe idea. And what should appear in my mailbox? Cooks Country magazine, and my weekly Acme Grocery flyer. In the former was a recipe for grill-roasted ham, in which they recommend you use two skewers to turn the ham like a rotisserie while it cooks. In the latter was a sale for ham, $0.89 a pound as their Easter special.* It was fate!
*I know that ham is the traditional Easter meal for a lot of people. Growing up, we always had ham sandwiches on rye at Grandma's house. Now that I'm a food snob, I'd rather cook Lamb for my Easter dinner.

**But for $0.89 a pound, I wasn't going to turn down the ham!


Recipe: Rotisserie Ham, barbecue style

Cook time: 3 hours

Equipment:
  • Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I used a Weber Summit 650 with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here it is.)
  • aluminum foil drip pan (9"x11", or whatever fits your grill)


Ingredients:
  • 1 bone-in ham (NOT spiral sliced; it will dry out. If you can find it, you want "ham in natural juices".)
  • Barbecue Rub (Use one with brown sugar in it, and little to no salt - the ham is plenty salty itself. Mine is here)


Directions:
1. Rub and rest the ham: Two hours before cooking, remove the ham from the refrigerator. Score in a diamond pattern, 1/4" deep at 1" intervals, with a paring knife. Sprinkle all over with the barbecue rub, then let rest at room temperature.


2. Prepare the grill: Set your grill up for rotisserie cooking at medium low heat (you want 300*F to 325*F in the grill), and allow to preheat. For my Weber Summit, this meant turning the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to medium-high, and leaving the infrared burner off. Then I put my drip pan in the middle, over the unlit burners. (See here for more rotisserie setup details.)

3. Skewer the ham: Aim for center mass, along side the bone, and skewer the ham.

4. Cook the ham: Put the spit on the grill, and start the rotisserie spinning. Cook the ham with the lid closed until it reaches 100*F (minimum) to 140*F (USDA safe) internal temperature, as measured in the thickest part of the ham. This means roughly 10 minutes per pound for the minimum temperature, or 15 minutes per pound for the USDA safe version. For my 12 lb ham, it took about 3 hours to reach 140*F.

5. Carve and serve: Cut the ham away from the bone in large chunks, and slice 1/2" thick. Serve with barbecue sauce and mustard.


Notes:
*Serve with cheap white buns and barbecue sauce (goes well with the barbecue rub). I also had applesauce, dill pickles, various mustards and some cabbage slaw on the side. I think it would have been fine with my usual rye bread, swiss cheese, lettuce and mustard. Or with some sauerkraut and grainy mustard.
*Why does mustard go so well with ham? My theory is: Ham gives you salty and sweet; mustard gives you sour and hot. It's a yin and yang kind of thing.

*Leftovers: be ready! 12 pounds of ham has meant, so far: ham sandwiches, denver omelets (diced ham and peppers), and...more ham sandwiches. I have the ham bone waiting in the freezer for split pea and ham soup. And I've still got ham left over. Ham salad, maybe? Anyone have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments.

*Why the variation in finished temperatures? Ham is pre-cooked, so you don't have to cook it as long as you would, say, pork. In theory, if it's been processed correctly, it doesn't have to be cooked at all; it's just like the cold cuts you get at your local deli. Your choices are to live dangerously, cook it until just warm on the inside (100*F), and save yourself an hour or so of cooking time. Or, follow the USDA guidelines (here), and cook it to 140*F, which will kill any bacteria that might have got into the ham, but takes an extra hour or more in cooking time. I had the time, so I went with the 140*F, but Cook's Country recommends only cooking it to 100*F. It's up to you.

*What kind of ham? Don't get a country ham for this - that's more like prosciutto, which wouldn't work in this recipe. Stay away from spiral sliced hams as well - they will dry out on the rotisserie. You want a bone in ham, and the more it looks like it once came from a pig's leg, and the less it looks like a large aspirin tablet, the better. I let frugality get the best of me for this one (did I mention it was $0.89 a pound?), and the results were still great.

*Want to know a lot about ham? Watch Alton Brown's "Ham I Am" episode of Good Eats.

*And, of course, this makes me think of the greatest book on sales technique ever written: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss.
*Would you like it in a boat? Would you like it with a goat?

Questions? Comments? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
Click here for my other rotisserie recipes.

Inspired by:
Cook's Country Magazine, April/May 2009 - Grill Roasted Ham (recipe here, subscription required)


Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.

Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.

It's a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!


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17 comments:

Scooter Jay said...

we used to smoke hams for 14-16 hrs before chopping and serving at family reunions. try injecting a good mustard based bbq sauce with a syringe for extra goodness.

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Scooter Jay:

Mustard based barbecue sauce sounds like a great idea. Thank you!

Richard said...

We always use the last of a ham scraps to make ham hash. I had never had it before I married my better half and now I love it.

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Richard:

Ham hash. What a great idea! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

How long do you think it would take in a large open rotisserie?

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Anonymous:

I can't say for sure, but from the cooking times on this site:
http://www.bbq-tools.com/grizzly.htm

I would guess about double my cooking time, so 6 hours?

Also, I wouldn't absolutely trust a cooking time with an open fire - the heat would be highly variable. I'd go with an instant read thermometer, looking for 140*F internal in the thickest part of the ham, and checking every hour to see how it's going.

Dave said...

Using your outstanding rub recipe I am doing a 9 1/2 pound "ready to cook" butt half in my showtime rotisserie.I have guestimated the cooking time at about 2 and a half hours. Meat thermometer will tell.As a note, when mixing the rub recipe, I use Johnny's Garlic Spread & Seasoning instead of garlic powder.I am a hard core Kamado user but this Showtime oven is really winning me over. The only drawback is a lack of recipes for cooking in it. I am making my own little book as I experiment with it. To get the smoke taste into the ham I used 1 tsp liquid smoke mixed in 1 cup warm water, washed the ham with it and then massaged the rub in. I find your methods to be very usefull and adaptable to my way of cooking; abit of this and a shake or two of that. Thanks, I'll post later with the results of this ham.

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Dave:
I love "a bit of this, a dash of that" cooking. I'm glad my recipes give you a base to take off from.

Christian Wilson said...

Hi Dave, I just bought a bone in Ham from the butcher. It is a piece of the entire ham , meaning one side is not covered with the skin, but open. Can I still use it on the Rotisserie following your recipe or will it dry out due to the open side???
Appreciate your help!
Chris

Christian Wilson said...

Sorry I meant Mike of course!!!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

It will work fine on the rotisserie. All hams are going to have some area uncovered by skin, where it was cut from the leg.

My ham had skin on about 2/3rds of the surface, but you can't see that in the pictures. I was taking pictures of the ham's "good side" - the uncovered side is facing away from the camera. :)

Crazyhorse4444 said...

Keep a little ham on that bone for some good old navy bean soup.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Absolutely!

mcnackskitchen said...

OMG! I made this for Easter Sunday and it was amazing! Such a different flavor than traditional oven roasted ham and so worth it. Thanks for posting this. I have a link to this from my blog now. Really, really, good!! THANKS!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

You're welcome - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Michael said...

I have a weber summit. I have been wanting to do a ham, so I bought a 6 1/2 pound ham with bone in natural juices. Set the temperature just as Mike put in the directions. cooked it for three hours. In the last 30 minutes I put a glaze on it and also turned on the infrared burner to give it a little bit of crustiness. Raves at the Thanksgiving table. Will be doing this recipe a lot more

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Excellent! I’m glad to hear it worked so well for you.

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